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22/11 Brentford Part 2

By: Tony Butcher
Date: 23/11/2003

WE laughed at such desperation, or perhaps they have a surreal sense of humour. Chuckling turned to heckling, outrage, indignant fury - and that was just the players. The mad man in green had immediately pointed to the penalty spot, tapping his forearm.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Reports > Brentford (a)

Griffin Park

Brentford 1 Grimsby Town 3
22 Nov 2003, Nationwide League Division 2

A really awful decision, being grounded in his hallucinatory fantasies rather than reality, unless he knows something we don’t about Macca, how many of us have seen his naked torso? Perhaps McDermott is like Anne Boleyn and was born with additional features, a hand upon his shoulder. There were certainly tears on the terraces. HUNT tapped the ball into the right hand corner as Davison plunged left, then set off towards the main stand, flopping to the ground with several team mates a la Klinsman.

The next few minutes were taken up with ref baiting, which he actively encouraged with some more wilfully perverse decisions. Brentford were visibly perkier and their long punting began to reap dividends, in the form of pressure and corners. The Town defence was resorting to last ditch lunging and plunging to clear danger as those Bees were a-busy and a-buzzing, with Tabb a persistent irritant, darting, dashing and splashing between defenders. Around the quarter hour Brentford had an effort on goal, their first (the penalty doesn’t count as an effort- it was a free gift in the post from a dodgy mail order company). They pressed and pressed down the Town right with the full back whipping in a hard fast cross to the far post. Barnard had drifted a little too close to goal and the ball sailed over him to the unmarked Rougier, eight yards out, who nodded powerfully a couple of yards wide. Should have scored, didn’t, don’t care. The last time Rougier met Barnard was that terrible defeat at home to Reading last season, fortunately Barnard is now on planet Grimsby, whilst Rougier has had many Sunday dinners since then. There was another penalty appeal when Crowe controlled the ball with chest. Even this ref couldn’t give two rotten tomato decision, could he? No.

Town, in fits and starts, were beginning to probe at the heart of the Brentford defence, with the occasional foray down the flanks. Some passing, some movement, some hope. A free kick wellied goalwards and sliced clear form the middle of the goalmouth at least allowed us to "ooh" and, a couple of minutes later, Anderson popped up on the right, cutting infield, drifting past his marker and, from about 25 yards out, fair murdering the ball. Faster than a speeding bullet the ball wobbled in front of the ‘keeper, who punched the ball away from his face for a corner. A spectacular and quite excellent save. The corner, on Town’s right was... you know what was going to happen, even if Brentford didn’t....pulled back to Anderson, lurking 30 yards out. He smackerooned a low drive through the penalty area, the ball careering away off the outside of a defender’s boot. These people, they are supposed to be professionals! Town do it every week and they still don’t cotton on to it. A spell of Town pressure followed, switching play from right to left, with Campbell scuttling hither and thither, teasing, toasting then roasting two defenders, before dinking an inswinging cross into the penalty area. Onuora moved like Livvo, stretched like Livvo, missed the ball like Livvo and that fleeting moment of danger had passed, straight into the goalkeeper’s arms. Still Town held on to the ball, with one-twos exposing the weaknesses not very carefully hidden by the Brentford kids. Crosses swung in, swung out, missed Town players. Ah swing low, sweet halibut as some Town fans crooned.

I haven’t mentioned the rain for a while. It rained. Incessantly. Puddles grew deeper, wider, longer, higher, stronger, faster. The ball stopped near the left touchline, zipped away from the right. A lottery, almost unplayable. Town fans were beginning to call for the game to be abandoned, the weather conditions ruining our beautiful game.

Onuoragoalyellow card


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Not that Brentford seemed to care, happy as Larry they were, floating on, splish-sploshing about, lumping balls down the channels, chipping and chasing; Hutchinson omnipresent, starting them, stopping us. Another corner, another free header, with one of their big centre backs heading several yards over the bar from about 12 yards out. Then a long shot, lovingly wide, causing the umbrellas to part like the Red Sea as it made its way towards central London. The game drifting away, marooned, listless, lifeless, no paddles to row this boat ashore. In the 35th minute Brentford had another chance, created by the water. Lumped long, down the Town left Crane had the ball covered until it stopped dead in the ever growing puddle near the corner flag. Off went the attacker, over went the cross, clipped to the near post, flicked to the far post Hunt, alone, a dozen yards out. McDermott and Edwards advanced, Hunt allowed the ball to bounce off his chest then volleyed hugely over the bar, the ball dipping onto the terraces, the terraces whooping in joy. More isolated Brentford attacks with the usual ricochets and hustlings causing concern, but no efforts on goal. Davison only touched the ball when receiving it back from the terrace dwellers. More rain, more calls for the game to be abandoned, memories came rushing back of great abandonments past. Were you there in Swindon? Sunderland? Surely it can’t go on, for the ball isn’t. Another stupid challenge by May resulted in him finally being booked, for as the ball rolled out for a goal kick, right in front of the Town fans, he shoved Barnard into the metal fence behind the goal.

In the last minute of the half Hamilton, about 40 yards out on the left, curled a free kick low towards the far post. Crane raced in and, somewhere near the edge of the area, glanced a header a foot or so wide of the ’keeper’s left hand post. Ah well, half time coming and only one down. Perhaps the referee would call the game off? Brentford surged forward and attacked Town’s right, but these hordes were repulsed. The ball was knocked up to Boulding about 30 yards out way out on the right, who expertly held off a giant defender and tipped the ball to Anderson who was sprinting down the touchline. Anderson dribbled on, down the touchline towards the bye-line, then crossed deep, to the far post. ONUORA, between two defenders, headed goalwards from about 6 yards out at the far post. The goalkeeper dived, the ball bounced down and Boulding trotted away with his hand in the air rather than tapping the ball into the empty net. Only then did we realise - a goal. Up went the umbrellas, dancing in the dark. The rest of the half was without concern. Brentford tried to press, got a couple of corners, but nothing happened, for the Town defence was organised, solid, resolute and all those other words that are wheeled out at times like this.

Half time: Brentford 1 Grimsby Town 1

Despite the conditions, Town had played some decent football in fleeting moments and generally coped with the up and at ’em approach by the striped locals. Generally coped? Well, Davison had only made one save and they had just a couple of headers and one shot. Not much for a high tempo route one-ish side who rely on the law of averages. One could almost stretch to say Town looked comfortable. Not too far mind, your emotional hamstring might snap.

It was still raining.

Stu's Half Time Toilet Talk

"I hope your car isn’t parked below sea level".
"Anymore rain and Boulding will get trench foot".
"Do you think Des will touch the ball today?".
"Trombone and guitar - he’s the new Don Partridge".
"I don’t know why they were drinking champagne, they were from Doncaster"

The report continues in the Second Half.

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